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Holiday home inspiration: Gorgeous island style

Inside author and interiors expert Karen McCartney's dreamy Dangar Island holiday home
Michael Wee

An interiors expert crossing the realms of magazines, digital and even retail, author Karen McCartney brought her considered style to decorating her own gorgeous holiday escape on Dangar Island, NSW. This stunning home, a modern execution of mid-century classicism in a stunning Hawkesbury riverside location, is also available to rent. We asked Karen to share some thoughts on her hideaway.


(Credit: Michael Wee)


What did you want to achieve with this home?


Karen: “We wanted the house to be a very calm, relaxing experience with the greenery of the treetops and the water framed by the windows. The interior employs a very restricted palette of oak, stone and a soft grey paint colour, throughout. We love to collect and so the open shelving allows for ceramics, baskets, books and artworks to be displayed. We mix up contemporary furnishings and lighting with vintage and found objects so that there is a sense of informality alongside a certain character.”




(Credit: Michael Wee)

What inspired you to create this Dangar Island hideaway?


Karen: “We had visited the island for several years before a block of land became available. My husband’s sister is an architect and brother a builder, so we could keep the construction very much in the family.”



(Credit: Michael Wee)

What’s your favourite thing about the home?


Karen: “There’s something about travelling across water that means you leave the cares of the week behind, and so we always find we are able to relax properly without many distractions other than nature, walking, cooking, reading and, of course, a glass of wine!” 

(Credit: Michael Wee)
(Credit: Perfect Imperfect by Karen McCartney, Allen & Unwin)

Karen McCartney’s book, Perfect Imperfect: The Beauty of Accident, Age & Patina ($59.99, Murdoch), is available here

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